Winters are hard. Cold and flu season plus kids can equal disaster at times. Add seasonal depression into the mix, and you’ve got a bad combination. After almost nine years of having kids, I feel like I’ve learned a lot, though. Here are my best winter tips:
Get a flu shot: Even if the flu shot isn’t accurate in a given year, it still lowers your chances of getting a few strains of flu, and can diminish symptoms and longevity of the illness if you do get it.
Wash your hands: A lot. Sanitizer kills germs better, but hand washing is still the best option. Soap and water are less likely to create bacteria-resistant bugs and obviously soap is better if you have dirt on your hands because sanitizer will just rub it in.
Use disinfecting wipes: Sanitize handles, faucets, door knobs, at least once a week to prevent germs from spreading. Do it more often if someone in your house is sick.
Dress warmly: Not only will it help reduce energy costs (in addition to other helpful ideas—I love seeing our utility bills get lower), being cold will lower your immunity and decrease your resistance to bugs.
Enjoy winter: The wonderful outdoors have plenty of options to get out and have fun. You don’t have to be trapped all winter. Check out these great outdoor activity ideas. My family loves skating particularly. Life is short and it’s silly to go into a cave for half the year. Getting outside to soak up even a small amount of sun will brighten your mood, too.
Food heals you: Garlic, onion, ginger and cayenne are my go-to foods to boost my immunity and fight colds. Getting my kids to eat it is another story. Real ginger ale, and a coconut ginger thai chicken soup are the only way I can get them to not gag and refuse.
Work from home: If your job is flexible, stay home. If it isn’t, it shouldn’t be too hard to find one that is. "I'd say about 40% of the workforce these days work remotely, at least part of the time. With the increasing reliance on cloud technology, most employees can work from any location that has wifi," says Micah Pratt with Business.org. It’s nice not to drive into the office on snow days, trust me.
Crowd control: After you travel in a plane or spend time in large crowds, it’s important to wash your hands, and even gargle with mouthwash. For an extra caution, I put listerine on a Q-Tip and swab out my nose, where most of your colds start.
If you follow these tips and don’t let paranoia dampen your enjoyment of the winter, you can not only survive each winter, you can thrive.